For the next level of wearable technology, something has to give. A group of Scientist at the University of Illinois promises flexible silicon and plastic circuits that can potentially be used for integration into clothing. This technology might open the doors for new Wearable Electronic (and other) applications that have not been possible without it.
Making electronic substrates thin makes it bendable, just as a piece of paper is bendable whereas a piece of wood is not,â€ says John Rogers who is heading the team.
To make elastic circuits, the team binds the silicon wiring to a thin sheet of rubbery plastic that has been stretched out to be approximately 15% wider and longer than it was before.
After applying the silicon circuit to the stretched material it is released and the rubber like material shrinks back to itâ€™s original shape. The circuit forms a wave shape profile (see photo above).
According to the Scientists the performance of the circuit is completely unaffected by this process and in this way produced circuits can be stretched up to the 15%.